Who Will Ascend? …Moses on the Mountaintop: Part 4

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...
Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before I conclude this discourse on the second mountaintop experience of Moses, we need to jump to Exodus 33.  Here we find the three principles of mountaintop experiences laid out again.  Moses has been on Mount Sinai with God all this time.  What has he been doing?  He was being equipped and prepared for what lay ahead for him and for the nation of Israel.  This included receiving many laws, such as the Ten Commandments.  This was the first principle: equipping and training.

We see the second principle in action in Exodus 32:7: “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.’”  This message came in the context of the golden calf that had been built while Moses was on the mountaintop.  At this point, the Lord had to tell Moses to go down.  I’m sure that was not what Moses really wanted to do.  He probably thought, Lord, I’d just much rather stay up here with you than deal with those wicked people!  But Moses went.  Principle two was in action: You can’t stay on the mountaintop forever.

Now, wait a minute.  This may seem to be in contrast with what I wrote in last week’s blog.  If we’re supposed to count the costs and lay everything aside in order to ascend and go higher with God, then how could it be that we can’t stay up there?  Well, the answer is simple, actually.  We ascend in order to meet God.  We descend while carrying the presence of God with us.  Just because we leave the mountain, it doesn’t mean we leave God upon that mountain!  We see the Presence of God represented in the following passage from Exodus 34:29-30:

Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.  So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

Moses’ face still shone after he left the mountain because God’s Presence was still powerfully upon him.  We mustn’t mistake the mountain for God Himself.  Just because we leave the mountain, it doesn’t mean we’re leaving God.  We meet with God on the mountain, but God empowers us to complete our task as He descends with us throughout our daily lives.  This leads us to principle three.

Principle three followed closely behind principle two: Moses had a specific task to complete upon leaving the mountaintop. In this instance, he was to go and deal with the Israelites who had been worshiping the idol of the golden calf.  It was not exactly the most pleasant of jobs, but I have to believe that Moses was well-prepared for the task because of the time he spent upon the mountain of God.

Again, how does this relate to us?  As you read this paragraph, pay close attention.  This paragraph summarizes this entire series.  If you get this paragraph, you’ll understand the whole series!  Remember, think of your mountaintop experiences, not as occasional spiritual high points in your life, but as your daily time in prayer and worship with God.  Our prayer time serves as an equipping time for us, but we can’t hide in our prayer closets all day long (though, in some ways, I would love it if we could!).  Rather, we must go forth into the world to complete the mission that God has called us to each day.  The ultimate goal of a mountaintop experience is that it would yield long-term results long after the person is no longer on the mountaintop!

Practically Speaking…

What’s your mission?  What is God calling you to do?  As you ascend to the high places with God and become more intimate with Him, I believe He will begin to show you incredible things for you to do and amazing assignments to complete.  Your ideas and visions may even become daunting, at times.  You may think, Whoa, I could never do that!  But the truth is: you can!

Ask God to give you dreams, visions, and ideas for your future assignments.  Keep in mind that your assignments will likely be for far more people than just you yourself.  If you want to make a difference, then other people need to be positively affected by the completion of your assignment.

As God reveals to you these things, I encourage you to do Habakkuk 2:2-3: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.  Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”  Literally, write down the things the Lord is laying upon your heart, and pray about them daily.

I’m telling you, I have done this on numerous occasions, and it is amazing to see the Lord answer my prayers and fulfill the dreams and visions He has placed upon my heart.  I could share many testimonies of specific ways He has answered those prayers.  But suffice it to say that, for whatever reason, the combination of writing a vision down and praying into it is a powerful combination.  I challenge you: Do it!  Then, watch God work!

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